Review: A Duel Hand Disaster: Trackher – A Uniquely Taxing Twin-Stick Shooter

Switch

The Switch is home to some fairly unique games, but A Duel Hand Disaster: Trackher is undoubtedly one of the most bizarre titles to hit the console since its launch. It’s also one of the most stubbornly difficult games to wrap your head around, and without thoroughly studying the optional tutorial, newcomers will find it equally infuriating and off-putting.

The game is a twin-stick arcade shooter, but with a genuinely intriguing twist. The screen is split in two, with the left side focused on shooting incoming enemy ships, and the right focused on recovering parts and materials. The ship on the left is invulnerable to attacks but very limited on fuel, whilst the ship on the right has an unlimited supply of fuel but is vulnerable to damage.

Your actions on either side will directly influence one another – so, for example, as you gather more parts on the right side, your score from destroying enemies on the left will multiply. Conversely, if you allow an enemy ship to pass you on the left, it will appear on the right and stalk you as you gather supplies.

The basic premise of the game is simple enough, but there are various factors at play that – unless you view the tutorial beforehand – aren’t immediately apparent, making the game seem far more complex than it really is.

We played a good few rounds before realising that the ship on the left was invulnerable, so multiple enemies were inadvertently moving over to the right side within the first couple of minutes. Additionally, every four minutes of gameplay triggers what’s known as the ‘Rushin’ Firewall’, a deadly square of fire that closes in on the ship on the right side. Surviving this requires you to move to the safe zone in the centre of the screen and activate a defensive strike, sacrificing one of your hard-earned parts.

Considering its reasonable price, A Duel Hand Disaster: Trackher is a decent arcade title that introduces a unique spin on the genre. It’s got a good amount of depth, looks the part, and has a pretty funky soundtrack to boot. We can’t stress this enough, though – if you’re thinking of picking it up, do yourself a favour and watch the tutorial first.

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